JustT - off grid farm life, a new beginning!

JustT

Ridin' The Range
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I suppose I'll begin with the questions and see where it leads. 🤷🏼‍♀️

1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like?
... I'm in extreme western Missouri. I can dang bear throw a rock into Kansas. Climate depends on the day. We have humid summers with daytime highs in the upper 90's and low triple digits. Winters are pretty mild until January and February these days. We get some snow and single digits but it's manageable.

2. How many people are in your family? Marital status?
... I'm single and both of my kids are grown. My oldest has a few babies of her own and my son is just getting started at adult life.

3. How would you define your farm?
... I call it the refuge. It gave me a new beginning and most of the animals that reside here with me are rescues.

4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed?
... That list is so long! I'm just getting started and need fencing and outbuildings and a cabin!

5. Have you ever built a house, barn , or other types of building? Do you want to?
... I have helped build a couple houses and more than one small barn. I'm almost finished with my most recent project, a 10 x 15 shed that I built for my goats and chickens.

6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-Acet?
... Not yet. 😉

7. Who or what inspired you to be a farmer/rancher, hobby farmer?
... I grew up on a farm and never really considered any other lifestyle.

8 Is it a hobby or an occupation?
... It's mostly a hobby but I do board a few animals that earn me a little income. I'd like to get to a point that I'm selling produce, and I do have the farm listed on hipcamp and have travelers out here periodically. So I'll say it's a hobby that attempts to support itself.

9. In what areas are you knowledgeable and in what areas would you like to learn more?
... I'd say most of my knowledge is about the animals themselves. I know just enough about carpentry to be dangerous. I'm learning more and more about gardening and self sufficiency. I'm always looking to learn more about all of those things.

10. In what types of farming will you never choose to do?
... I will never raise animals for food.

11. Are you interested in providing more of your own food supply?
... Absolutely.

12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world?
... That's pretty much my every day. I play outside. Sometimes spending time with the animals. Sometimes exploring the property. Usually building shelters or something for the animals.

13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi?
... Tractor, yes. Semi, no.

14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these?
... I live building little things. Pig houses, chicken coops, garden beds, shelving, fences and gates. Nothing 'crafty' really. Maybe one day. I don't feel like I'm knowledgable enough to teach anyone else.

15. Can you legally have all forms of livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?
... I can! I have horses, goats, peafowl, geese, ducks, chickens, potbelly pigs, cats and dogs.

16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood?
Nope

17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?
... I like it a lot. Though I think I enjoyed building the garden even more. I grow squash, tomatoes, green beans, melons, peppers, onions, cukes, lettuce, eggplant, strawberries, herbs, pumpkins, potatoes... I want to expand this year and add sweet potatoes, garlic, brassicas, asparagus, more varieties of beans and salad greens, etc.

18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives?
... I can fish but I don't particularly enjoy it. It just doesn't do anything for me. 🤷🏼‍♀️

19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City farm? Country?
I'm on 22 acres in the country.

20. Are you a Novice, Technician, degreed?
... I'm a Jack of all trades and master of none! lol!

21. What is your farm specialty? Or what one would you like to learn?
... Animal husbandry? I guess.

22. If you could create a degree and curriculum, what would you major in and what classes would you take?
... I'd major in intentional living. I'd take classes in survival skills, farm maintenance, self defense, first aid, food preservation...

23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet?
... I know just enough to be dangerous, but self sufficient. I can build functional things and over time, they're getting prettier.

24. Are you interested in herbal animal medicine?
It's something I've just started looking into.

25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?
... I mean, I chose to live here. Right?

26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking?
... Not yet.

27. What would your ideal super hero/villain be?
... My super hero is my best friend. My favorite villain is Maleficent. Only villain I know who's smart and sophisticated. And incidentally, the only Disney villain who isn't a bafoon.

28. Are your family or friends also interested in animals?
My siblings, yes. My children like them but that's not what their lives are about. My friends are a split group. Some are, some aren't.

29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs?
... Cooking is a chore. I tend to eat ingredients rather than meals!

30. What was your best animal experience? Worst?
... I almost want to say owning goats as the answer to both questions! I love them as much as I hate them. lol! But honestly, my entire life has been intertwined with animals. I have far too many experiences to pic one best and one worst.

31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs?
... I have a gazillion blackberries, wild plums, persimmons, pecans and mulberries on the property. I haven't made meaningful use of them yet, but I do partake of the fruits in the moment.

32. What skills do you have that help you be more a self sufficient farm?
... I've always been a bit of a tom boy so I do most everything myself. Unless it's mechanical. If something mechanized needs fixing, I'm NOT the girl for the job. Or spider killing. I'm not doing that job either. (My two girliest traits).

33. Do you process your own meat? Can or preserve?
... I don't eat meat anymore, but I do want to start preserving the produce from my garden.

34. Do you use alternative energy sources on your farm? Would you like to?
... I do have rural water but that's my only connection to the grid. I use solar, a generator, a power inverter in my truck, and I cook and heat with propane.

35 What is on your to do list?
... finish these perimeter fence, build a horse barn, build a cabin, add a small dock to the pond, expand my garden, finish the interior of the coop/goat shed, extend the driveway ot to the hay barn, build a round pen... (I'm gonna stop here or it's going to become the entire journal entry)

36. Have you ever lived completely off what you produce? Would you like to?
... I'm working towards that goal!

37. In what do you trust?
... my gut.

38. Do you make and fix things yourself to save money?
... All the time.

39. Has the experience with animals changed your attitude or habits?
... Not changed them as much as formed them. With the exception of my diet. Once I started rescuing animals I felt like a hypocrite with every bite of meat I ate. So I stopped a couple years ago. Why were the animals I rescued special but the ones in factory farms were disposable? I won't participate in that industry if I can help it.

So there you have it. The beginning.
 

Nao57

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That's a lot of questions.

But maybe one thing a lot of people wonder about in thinking about something like you did, is how do you avoid getting a real estate scam when you get your first bit of land?

How do you make sure?

What kinds of geese do you have?

That sounds neat.

And for your goats, I'm curious if you can get dairy goats to last longer than dairy cows.

When talking to my dad, he's telling me the average life of a dairy cow and its only like 4 years...(or was it 5?) And the first two and a half years are just getting up to weight to be able to handle it.

Anyway, this made me wonder if you get more longevity with dairy goats or dairy sheep in comparison?

Wonder how you'll reply.
 

Mini Horses

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Welcome to the forum family.

For info ... Cows last way into late teens. Goats are productive until about 8-10, with good care. Since goats are smaller, you have far less pasture and feed requirement amounts. Most often a good goat will provide all the milk a family will need.
 

JustT

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That's a lot of questions.

But maybe one thing a lot of people wonder about in thinking about something like you did, is how do you avoid getting a real estate scam when you get your first bit of land?

How do you make sure?

What kinds of geese do you have?

That sounds neat.

And for your goats, I'm curious if you can get dairy goats to last longer than dairy cows.

When talking to my dad, he's telling me the average life of a dairy cow and its only like 4 years...(or was it 5?) And the first two and a half years are just getting up to weight to be able to handle it.

Anyway, this made me wonder if you get more longevity with dairy goats or dairy sheep in comparison?

Wonder how you'll reply.
Real estate scam? I don't understand. My situation is no different than anyone else buying land.

How do I make sure of what?

My geese are mixed breed and as such, were unwanted. I know they're half Sabastopol. I don't know what else is in there. I'll attach pics.

As for goats and cows, I've never owned a cow but it's my understanding that they can live well into their teens. I don't think goats live as long. My oldest goat is 8 years old currently.
 

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Beekissed

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I'm curious how one farms with animals if they aren't raising any animals for food? Are you just not eating the animals yourself and selling them as food for others or just keeping the animals as pets? What do you do with the eggs and milk if you don't eat it?
 

JustT

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I'm curious how one farms with animals if they aren't raising any animals for food? Are you just not eating the animals yourself and selling them as food for others or just keeping the animals as pets? What do you do with the eggs and milk if you don't eat it?
My goats aren't producing milk, and I do eat or sell the eggs my chickens lay. When I've had goats in milk, I used it. The animals here are mostly rescues. Not all, but most. This is a sanctuary for them. I never said I was a 'farmer', but as I expand my garden and hopefully start selling produce I suppose that would make me one?
 

Beekissed

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My goats aren't producing milk, and I do eat or sell the eggs my chickens lay. When I've had goats in milk, I used it. The animals here are mostly rescues. Not all, but most. This is a sanctuary for them. I never said I was a 'farmer', but as I expand my garden and hopefully start selling produce I suppose that would make me one?

So, in your answer to the questions you said you won't raise an animal for food...but you'll eat the food they produce? You just don't raise them expressly for food? If so, that answers my question...I was puzzled about someone who raises animals that actually produce food but never eats any of the food they produce.


farm·ing
/ˈfärmiNG/

noun
  • 1.the activity or business of growing crops and raising livestock:

So, yep, you are a farmer if you are raising livestock or growing any crops, no matter how small that venture is.
 

Baymule

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You are off to a good start. You'll fit in just fine here. Most of us do raise animals for food, but you already knew that. Keeping your rescues as pets is your choice and we respect that. Many of us have old animals that have served us well and have become pets.

I have gardened practically all my life. I love to can, freeze and dehydrate the proceeds from my garden. Nothing better than fresh veggies and fruit from your own garden.
 

Hideaway Pines

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That is a lot of questions, I was born and raised in KC, lived in both the MO and KS side. I love that area and visit often since all my family is still in the area. But I am glad I am in Texas now though, I do not like caring for my animals in the cold... and we do not get cold here like you do up there.

We are also building our own little homestead. We are capable of being totally off grid but we are connected to the power grid too - so we choose depending on life what we do. We have solar on everything including our well - so when we have been without power we are just fine. We run off propane for a lot of our appliances. We like the idea of being self-sufficient, we raise our own food as much as possible. It is a great feeling to be a part of the full cycle of life that happens on a farm. I love that you rescue animals, I would do that for every animal I found, but my husband has limited me to rescuing dogs... I love nurturing all life, animals and plants it is so rewarding.
 
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